Bergdahl Back in Military Courtroom Tuesday 

click to enlarge U.S. Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl - U.S. ARMY
  • U.S. Army
  • U.S. Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl


Idaho native and U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl returned to a military courtroom at Fort Bragg, N.C., Tuesday morning, ahead of a pre-trial hearing on his general court martial on charges of desertion and misbehavior before the enemy.

In mid-December, it was announced Bergdahl, who is the current centerpiece of the wildly successful podcast Serial, would face charges in connection with his controversial 2009 disappearance from his base in Afghanistan and capture by the Taliban.

Bergdahl disappeared in June 2009 from a combat post in Paktika Province in eastern Afghanistan and was captured by the Taliban. He spent five years as a captive before he was freed in May 2014 following a prisoner swap that angered members of Congress and some members of his former unit. The Hailey native was released in exchange for five Taliban leaders held at Guantanamo Bay.

After an investigation into the circumstances of his capture, Bergdahl was charged with desertion and misbehavior before the enem. Bergdahl's legal proceedings were far from over: a recommendation involving his case was forwarded to General Robert Abrams, head of Army Forces Command at Fort Bragg. On Monday, Abrams ordered the general court martial proceedings, meaning Bergdahl, 29, faces a possible life sentence.

Bergdahl made his first appearance before a military judge on Dec. 22 but deferred entering a plea. Bergdahl and his attorneys must also decide whether to opt for a jury or judge to decide his fate at the culmination of the general court martial.

Meanwhile, the Serial podcast has, to date, revealed Bergdahl admits he had a desire to be some kind of "super soldier," comparing his fantasies to the fictional Jason Bourne. In the latest episode of the podcast, Bergdahl, described his ordeal with the Taliban, saying his captors cut his chest with a razor "60 or 70 cuts at a time."


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